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3.4 out of 5 stars21
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2007
To all the reviewers on this page: come off it, guys. Goldman's book is sensation-hunting tabloidism at its worst with the authors low opinion of the subject thrown in for good measure every chance he gets and you know it. On top of that, Goldman was a poor writer. The whole thing reads like a bad detective novel ("like a Zen Arrow flying through the night", give me a break!). True, at the time of it's publication in 1988, it was pretty much the only book available that couldn't have been retitled "St. Lennon-the faultless one", but that situation has been rectified many times over. If you want to know what John Lennon was like, the closest you will get is probably the interview books, such as Last Interview by David Sheff. Or McCartney and Barry Miles' Many Years From Now. There are so many good Lennon-books out there. Don't bother with this poorly written filth.
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on 17 March 2016
When I unwrapped this book I couldn't believe it wasn't brand new. Any marks wiped off with a damp cloth cap. Considering he's upbringing he was entitled to be a bitter person. His mother was killed by a hit & run driver & his father left him. When he was a Beatle people wanted a piece of him ALL the time. But he was honest......most people stab you in the back. But he told you face to face what he thought. Life made him bitter & I like him for it. I consider myself to be a nasty bitter person cause of what my mother did to me, but that's another story plus I'm not John Lennon. I consider him to be a roll model & always will.
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on 1 August 2012
To understand how much trust to place in the 'facts' presented in this book just read the first chapter, it's written like a noir detective thriller. Set on a dark night featuring surreptitious drug use, wild conspiracies and Ancient Egyptian artefacts.
...or you could wonder at the depth of detail given to a few minutes of John Lennons' life as he trudges around his apartment. Alone. Completely alone. So very, very alone that you could ask 'where did this detail come from?'
...or the chapter later in the book that gives an account of a trip to Bangkok that John apparently took. Secretly. Alone. Very, very alone. Whilst there, (alone), he went, (on his own), to a brothel, (unaccompanied), where he enjoyed the delights of some ladies, (an unnervingly descriptive passage is given of the ladies he 'might' have enjoyed), and maybe some boys.
There's also the claim of two possible murders and a rape comitted by Lennon.
Or you could ignore the actual writing and concentrate instead on the sources Goldman uses. Such as Aunt Mimis' neighbour who never entered their home. A large portion of the book relies on the accounts of employees and friends who were apparently defrauding John and Yoko almost from the beginning.
At the end of the book there is an exhaustive list of the sources Goldman interviewed or used. That's all very nice but, as you read through the main body, it becomes apparent that extremely few of the accounts given are actually credited to anyone.
Over the years since this book came out many of the sources have refuted the statements that were attributed to them and many more of the people actually involved in the events denied Goldmans' claims.
I've no doubt that much of what's here is true, but I've less doubt that a large amount is conjecture and lots of it is a twist of the truth built to sell. And some of it is simple lies.
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on 17 August 2014
fascinating to find out about the guys life - didnt know much about lennon and was fascinated by a well researched book.
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on 20 February 2011
I was on holiday when this came out in 1988, and it was shocking.It was run in the Daily Mail as " Lennon UnMasked ", it was discussed on TV as to if it would damage Lennon's long term reputation . Paul McCartney advised people not to buy it claiming he was there and none of it happened . Goldman then called Paul McCartney a Marshmellow of a man , U2 name checked the book on their " God" Track on their new album " Rattle and Hum " , so heady days !
Several years later , I bought the book second hand , so as not to give Albert Goldman much , if any cash .I've read most Beatles Books and John Lennon books, so curiosity got the better of me eventually.
And so to the book. Its writing style is sanctimonious , there is an obvious dislike for the subject , and he never misses an opportunity to take " pot shots".
To me the people he interviewed all give exagerated versions of old tales , including the Hamburg stories, some of them have since fallen out out Lennon , or fallen on hard times , how reliable are these stories ?
He makes errors on Beatles projects , which always loses credibility . He critises the Beatles music , and makes remarks such as they lacked ambition and never recorded in America . If you listen to say Revolver , its sonically much better than most music produced from any other band around the World in the 1960's . Abbey Road, SOUNDS like it could have been made last year . The New 2009 CD's prove this, they sound SUPERB .
Most of Albert Goldmans most shocking claims , are around John's relationships with people like Brian Epstein , with claims that have no evidence what so ever .
So approach with care .John Lennon in his life time, gave interviews and wrote songs , far more honest than most people , let alone famous people , and that was part of his charm .
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on 19 December 2014
There is a lot of truth in this book but there is also a lot of exaggeration and unfounded allegations. Some of it seemed to be wild speculation from the author himself and other stuff from friends of friends. It's a good book if you are interested in Mr Lennon and keep an open mind
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on 24 July 2013
McCartney: Goldman made up "any old bunch of lies he sees fit", "a piece of trash"

Bono: "Don't believe in Goldman, his type is like a curse, Instant karma's gonna get him, if I don't get him first"
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on 5 September 2008
This is an exhaustively researched and easy to read look at the life of John Lennon and those around him. The book is very well written and is definately an addictive read, it is very in depth and thought provoking. I recommend this book to all.
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on 15 June 2009
this book if very detailed and goes deep into how john lennon was. after reading this book you feel you know more of the man he was rather than the celebrity we all knew.
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on 21 November 2013
The quality is excellent, the transport was fast and accurate, i would recommend it to everyone. Just a good experience :-)
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